These recommendations include major wins for NTEU members who have long campaigned against political interference in research grants and for a fairer application process.
Major wins for NTEU Members include:
- Removal of the Minister’s veto power, except for limited national security reasons (finally ending political interference in the grant process)
- Introduction of a two-step application process, which will save wasted time and effort on unsuccessful applications, and reduce the opportunity cost associated with applying
- Giving early career researchers a better chance of winning grants with updated assessment criteria
- Protection of Discovery funding as a minimum proportion of total funding
- New Discovery Fellowships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academics across the full career spectrum
- Establishment of a board to improve governance and oversight
While the NTEU supports the important changes announced today, which have followed our strong advocacy for research reforms over many years, we also note that the ARC Review (and consequently the government) has not yet adopted our recommendations to address the ongoing reliance of the sector on short fixed-term employment contracts for grant funded researchers.
This remains a pressing problem for research staff, and we encourage the government to use the Accord process to address this issue, including through the Accord interim Report’s proposal to fully fund research in Australian universities